Puglian Pleasures Experience – Exceeded Expectations!
The inauguration of Puglian Pleasures’ joint venture with Granelli di Salento, exceeded everyone’s expectations! The day was full of surprises for all the guests, with plenty of fun and laughter.
There was an informal tour of the La Pruina Vineyard, which is run as a family business. And, even though they have only been producing La Pruina wines for just over two years, they have already been awarded Gold and Silver medals for outstanding quality, from several different wine competitions throughout Europe.
The guests strolled through the organic vines and learnt about La Pruina’s methodology and how to achieve outstanding quality wines. After a brief demonstration, the guests were able to get ‘hands on’ and had a go at twisting the vines around the supporting structure. This encourages the vines to grow in a particular manner, making it easier to tend and train. The winemaker conducted the tour in Italian and then it was translated into English by his beautiful wife.
The olive trees provided much needed shade from the warm spring sun and this is where we gathered for our cookery demonstration by ‘Mamma’. She made it look so easy, as she knocked out several pasta shapes from the Puglian region. Then it was over to the guests to get involved, and try their hand at this traditional art of pasta making. The good, the bad and the ugly springs to mind here as some of the guests pasta shapes were, well, let’s just say unique!
Making pasta really wetted everyone’s appetite for lunch, and the pasta was cooked in large pots over an open fire, accompanied with meatballs in a tomato sauce. Stuffed focaccia, local vegetables and various other typical Pugliese dishes were also devoured. All this was washed down with La Pruina D.O.C wine: Salice Salentino and Primitivo di Manduria.
Whilst the guests were eating, drinking and being merry, the sound of music filled the air as a local duo began playing the unmistakable sound of the Pizzica. This traditional Folk music is synonymous with Puglia, and the art of the Pizzica is still taught and celebrated throughout this region.
Then, it was time for guests to get involved! First we learnt a few of the moves, then, with two left feet we selected a partner to perform the Pizzica! This is when I wished that I hadn’t eaten as much! But the fun didn’t stop there! We were all given a traditional instrument to harmoniously recreate the sound of the Pizzica!
After the vineyard tour, pasta making session, Pizzica music and dancing, there was just enough time for a group photo, before we headed off to the beautiful City of Oria, where we were meet by our English speaking expert guide. She gave us a brief history of Oria and guided us through the whitewashed, windy streets up to the panoramic vista, before entering the Basilica.
After a brief history of the Basilica, we were guided through the underground corridors, before being lead to the Crypt of the Mummies. Their facial expressions, along with the whole experience of this unique tour, will stay with us for a lifetime!